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SSH stands for secure shell. You can remotely connect to the raspberry pi terminal with an SSH client. A popular ssh client is Putty for Windows. The ssh command can be used on macOS and GNU/Linux

NOTE Your Raspberry Pi needs to be connected to the same network (either via Ethernet or Wifi Dongle) as the computer you are accessing it from.

Enable SSH

Note: Starting with RetroPie 4.2, in order to keep the default image secure, SSH is disabled by default. It can be enabled in either of the two ways listed below.

1) Pre-boot. From a system with an SD-card reader, access the /boot/ directory and create an empty file called ssh.

2) In raspi-config: after booting.

sudo raspi-config

interfacing options >> SSH >> Enable >> reboot your pi

For more information on why SSH was disabled see HERE

When using BerryBoot

When using RetroPie with BerryBoot you cannot use raspi-config. There is a workaround to enable SSH: Boot to RetroPie (via BerryBoot) Enter shell by pressing Ctrl + F4 cd /boot sudo touch ssh sudo reboot now Done!


When you first start putty you can sign in with the following credentials:


You can also use your raspberry pi's ip address instead of retropie

Default Login:

username: pi

password: raspberry

See here if you wish to log in as root.

Common Terminal Commands:


sudo reboot


sudo shutdown -h now

Change Directory

cd /path/to/directory

list Files in Current Directory


Retropie Setup Script:

sudo /home/pi/RetroPie-Setup/

Edit Files with Nano:

sudo nano /path/to/file.txt

Change owner to Pi:

sudo chown pi:pi filetobechanged

Change owner of folder and all files in folder to Pi:

sudo chown -R pi:pi /folder/to/be/changed

Make shell script executable:

sudo chmod +x

Extra Configurations

If you find that you are getting weird characters on the dialog gui for the RetroPie Setup script you can change the font encoding to make it look pretty again.

font encoding font encodingfinal